Grand Coteau schools are recognized for the success of their students and focus on personal growth | Sponsored: Sacred Heart Schools

A national organization has ranked two private Catholic schools in Grand Coteau as the best in the region.

Sacred Heart Academy was named the best Catholic school in the Lafayette area for 2023 by Niche, which collects data and feedback to rate schools. Berchmans Academy was ranked No. 2. The schools share the same 255-acre campus, but boys and girls are taught separately. Additionally, Niche named Académie du Sacré-Coeur the #3 private school in the Lafayette area, while Académie Berchmans was ranked #4.

The rankings consider several factors, including academics, teachers, clubs and activities, diversity, sports, and college readiness.

“We strive to educate the child as a whole. It’s not just about their test scores or their performance on the field or in their extracurricular activities,” said Aimee Cotter, director of advancement for both schools. “We place equal emphasis on the spiritual development of students through academics, community service, and character building. We are really proud that Niche recognizes this fact.

A hallmark of the schools has long been its single-sex classes, which Cotter says allow teachers to adapt their learning styles and meet individual needs.

“Because we are single-sex schools, we are able to provide education that is personalized and tailored to how girls and boys learn differently,” Cotter said. “What you find in an Academy classroom may look different than what you find at Berchmans because our educators are highly skilled in their learning styles. This influences how we design our classrooms and our programs. We know their brains work differently, so our goal is to maximize their learning experience.

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Although students at both schools consistently scored high on standardized exams, Cotter noted that teachers “don’t teach on the test.” Rather, the scores are a byproduct of schools’ emphasis on skills such as critical thinking and analysis, as well as small class sizes and a curriculum adjusted as needed based on reassessments of classroom methods and student performance.

Additionally, both academies have separate honors programs that allow students to fully immerse themselves in an area of ​​their choice. From there, students work with teachers as they conduct research and analysis, followed by a capstone project at the end of the year. For example, Cotter said a current ASH student is researching imprisonment and the justice system. In her math class she learns quantitative analysis and her English class helps her learn to write critically with supporting arguments.

“It’s extra work on top of their already rigorous coursework, but it’s all student-driven as they choose their topic and become an expert in it,” Cotter said. “This confidence and ability to not only become an expert, but to champion a topic of your choice is at the heart of our honors program and helps prepare our students for high-level work in the future.”

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Although Catholicism is a core value in academies and is taught in religion classes, Cotter said the schools respect all faiths. Students do not need to be Catholic to attend either academy.

“Faith is at the heart of what we do and we have deep respect for each other in a spiritual sense,” she said. “We are really proud to have an environment that respects humanity and where our education is based on being a voice for all. We place great importance on personal growth, always striving to do the right thing and having the perseverance to keep trying and be your best self.

Although students at the academy come from a variety of backgrounds, Cotter said one of the most rewarding parts of their experience is being part of a community where classmates support each other through difficult times and celebrate each other’s successes.


“For us, community is more than pep rallies and spirit weeks. It’s about that continued sense of brotherhood and brotherhood in our unique schools,” Cotter said. “When students are in difficulty, their Sacred Heart Sisters or their Berchman brothers will lift them up. We see it in collaborative teamwork in the classroom at all levels. When students come here, they become part of a special group of individuals who will look out for each other for the rest of their lives.

The Académie du Sacré-Coeur and the Académie Berchmans offer visits throughout the year. Flexible tuition options are available depending on the family’s financial situation. The school is also offering a full four-year scholarship to a boy and a girl for the 2023-24 school year. Incoming freshmen will be eligible for the scholarships. For more information or to schedule a visit, visit or

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